Infection rates go back to May levels, active cases push 30,000 – Turkey COVID-19 roundup

A total of 72 people died due to the COVID-19 coronavirus between Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in Turkey, while the country recorded 1,767 more cases, according to official data announced by the Health Ministry.

Turkey’s death toll due to the pandemic stands at 7,711 as of Wednesday. The number of active cases in the country rose to 29,635.

On May 3, before the government lifted Turkey’s restrictions, the country had recorded 61 deaths and 1,670 new diagnoses. There were 1,424 people in intensive care units, while 766 people were intubated.

The ICU and intubation statistics were removed from the daily announcements on July 28, and replaced by the rate of pneumonia and number of severely ill patients. For Sept. 23, there are 1,561 severely ill patients in Turkey, while 6.7 percent of patients have developed pneumonia.

Turkey's coronavirus figures for Sept. 23
Turkey's official COVID-19 figures for Sept. 23. source: https://covid19.saglik.gov.tr/

 


Turkey loses two more healthcare workers to COVID-19

Two hospital workers in Turkey’s southern Alanya and southeastern Diyarbakır provinces have died due to complications related to COVID-19, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) announced on Wednesday.

According to figures TTB announced on Monday, at least 95 healthcare workers have lost their lives due to the novel coronavirus since it was first recorded in Turkey in mid-March. Medical personnel have contracted COVID-19 at rates 8.5 times more than the general public, according to the same report.


Turkish province to fine quarantined persons for obstruction

The governor of Turkey’s western Kırklareli province has introduced fines of 3,152 liras ($410) for people who hide information from contact tracing units.

The fines will cover those who give partial and incorrect information as well.

Meanwhile, public offices will not require residents to use Turkey’s contact tracing app, HES, and elderly residents over the age of 65 will be allowed to ride on public transport between 10:00 and 17:00. Contact tracing units have been given authority to order paid leave for the duration of mandatory quarantine for cases diagnosed via tracing, both in the public and private sectors.


Turkish NGO warns against hydroxychloroquine

The anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine should not be used in COVID-19 treatment, Turkish Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Association (KLİMİK), chaired by member of Turkey’s state body Coronavirus Scientific Council Alpay Azap, said in a scientific review paper it issued this week.

KLİMİK said its experts conducted a review of major studies on hydroxychloroquine as well as other antivirals used in treatment, favipiravir, remdesivir and lopinavir-ritonavirin.

Hydroxychloroquine can lead to “life threatening cardiotoxic effects,” KLİMİK said, meanwhile the other drugs were seen to have had no such risk, and moderate to good benefits.

“There is no antiviral treatment that has been proven effective against COVID-19, despite the eight months passing since the pandemic started,” the NGO said. “Repurposing agents used in treatment could have cost time lost on the way to the discovery of effective treatment.”

KLİMİK called for more resource allocation to developing treatment specific to the novel coronavirus.


Turkish Education Ministry says remote learning platform targeted by cyber attack

Turkey’s remote learning platform Education Informatics Network (EBA) was targeted in a DDoS attack on the first day back to school, the Education Ministry announced on Wednesday.

There was also an overload to servers for interactive classes, it said.

Minister Ziya Selçuk had said there had been “an unbelievably high demand” after the system first crashed.

Server capacity has been increased, and students faced no issues accessing the platform later on Tuesday or Wednesday, the statement said.